Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Two Dresses

Today I would like to share two dresses I sewed for my daughter. They aren't exactly seasonally appropriate, but I knew if I waited until fall to share them I may forget!
The first is my favorite dress, perhaps even my favorite sewing project of all that I've made. The pattern was a perfect canvas for embellishments, and it was a pleasure to select the fabrics and trims to sew this special dress.

The yoke is sewn from a fine wale corduroy in navy blue. I enjoyed being able to add a little hand embroidery that picked up on the colors in the calico portion of the dress. It was a hard decision when it came time to select a ric-rac, I had a few that coordinated with the calico. 

I loved adding crocheted lace trim to the waist and faux button placket!

The pattern included a hem panel that allowed for a neat lace border. The sleeves are sewn from batiste and also edged in lace. The dress was meant to include a back zipper, but I substituted buttons for the zipper.
Here is a picture of the pattern I used. It is a Gunne Sax pattern from the 1980's. I love finding old Gunne Sax patterns on Ebay. The detailing makes them extra special!

The next dress is one that I sewed last fall for my daughter's birthday. I loved this beautiful brown calico! It seemed to compliment the design of the dress and added to the old-fashioned appearance.
The shoulder ruffles look so sweet when worn! And I couldn't resist adding a little embroidery to the collar.
The most challenging aspect of sewing this dress were the pintucks. I had to sew the pintucks a few times before they were all straight and even, but I was pleased with the end results.
This dress was sewn using a Cinderella pattern from 1980's. I loved the cover art on this pattern. The illustration on the far left was my inspiration when sewing this dress. 

It is always bring me so much joy to sew dresses for my little girl! I have a couple of pretty spring time fabrics sitting in my sewing basket just waiting to be sewn into new dresses and skirts for her. 

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful springtime season! I hope to share a post soon with some pictures of all of the lovely birds, blossoms, and blooms around here.

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." Psalm 90:17


Saturday, February 24, 2024

Recent Knitting and Reading

So far winter has been milder than what we are used to in upstate New York, but for those chilly mornings and evening we have enjoyed the cozy warmth provided by our hot water bottles. I must admit that for too long I have wrapped my hot water bottle in a hand towel. It had been on my "to do" list to either sew or knit a cover for a long time and this year I finally did.

I found a few free knitting patterns on-line that I liked, but there were elements of each that I preferred. Some had a bottom opening with buttons while others were actually knit around the hot water bottle. Also the yarn weight varied from sock yarn to super bulky. I ended up borrowing ideas from the patterns I liked best and implemented my favorite features into my own cover.

It had been a very long time since I had done any cable knitting and I found it an enjoyable part of the knitting process. I also was pleased to find these wooden buttons in my button box. I thought they were a nice finishing touch.

Another recent knitting project was this little cardigan sweater for my daughter's doll. It was such fun to knit, and quick too! I am hoping to knit a couple more before my nieces' birthdays.

Earlier this month I read The Blythe Girls: Helen's Strange Boarder. It was a truly delightful read! I discovered the Blythe Girls series in a box of books I purchased from an auction a couple of years back. The stories are about three sisters living on their own during the 1920's. They seem to always coming against unusual predicaments, and occasionally a mystery. I enjoy the 1920's vernacular and the different personalities of the three sisters. They are a fun look at 100 years ago.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am hoping to once again share here on my blog as time allows. May you have a blessed week!

Monday, January 29, 2024

The Seamstress of Acadie - Review

 As 1754 is drawing to a close, tensions between the French and the British on Canada's Acadian shore are reaching a fever pitch. Seamstress Sylvie Galant and her family--French-speaking Acadians wishing to remain neutral--are caught in the middle, their land positioned between two forts flying rival flags. Amid preparations for the celebration of Noël, the talk is of unrest, coming war, and William Blackburn, the British Army Ranger raising havoc across North America's borderlands.

As summer takes hold in 1755 and British ships appear on the horizon, Sylvie encounters Blackburn, who warns her of the coming invasion. Rather than participate in the forced removal of the Acadians from their land, he resigns his commission. But that cannot save Sylvie or her kin. Relocated on a ramshackle ship to Virginia, Sylvie struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. When her path crosses once more with William's, they must work through the complex tangle of their shared, shattered past to navigate the present and forge an enduring future.



The Seamstress of Acadie is the story of Sylvie Gallant, a young seamstress, living in Acadie (currently Nova Scotia) at the onset of the French and Indian War. Sylvie and her family live within view of the ocean and enjoy tending their beautiful farm and generations old apple orchard. Within months all that they have worked for is taken by force and Sylvie finds herself with the challenge of forging a new life for herself in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

This book helped me grow in knowing more about this heartbreaking time in history. The Seamstress of Acadie is a beautifully and thoughtfully written novel. I found the characters and setting to be well crafted and described. The conversations sprinkled with French gave the story an authentic feel. I also appreciated the quotes that headed each chapter. I found them to be engaging and charming especially as many of them are pulled from the time of the story.

This was the first novel I have read by Laura Frantz, but will not be the last. The author’s note at the end of the book was very insightful. It was a pleasure to learn what inspired her to write about the Acadian history.

*I received a complimentary copy of The Seamstress of Acadie from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.*

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pictures from July

 July was a beautiful and busy month. I always enjoy July, as I feel that it is filled with summer's best. Trips to the lake, picking berries, stunning sunsets, garden produce, family picnics, beautiful flowers, well as you can see I could go on forever!

We were very blessed with an abundance of berries in our garden this year. I was able to make jam from our home grown strawberries, black raspberries and rhubarb, so far. I still plan to make red raspberry jam from our garden at some point. I also had enough berries to freeze for the winter months ahead.

There is nothing quite like a pie made with fresh berries from the garden! It gives us such a good feeling to see the hard work of planting and caring for our plants come to fruition.

Although we have planted blueberries they are very slow to grow. The picture of the plant above was taken at a beautiful blueberry farm we visit each summer. Our annual trip is one of my favorite summer traditions! This year I went with my mom and sister, with her children. It was fun to see the cousins enjoy their time together and competing to see who could pick the most blueberries!
One evening Jemimah brought in a basket of bell peppers she picked. She likes to pick flowers from her wild flower garden and then arrange them among the vegetables. She finds great delight in surprising me with beautiful bouquets and displays of her flowers.
I am grateful to have a nice supply of peppers in my freezer for the winter ahead.

We are thrilled to finally have some ripe tomatoes. They seemed to be a little slow to ripen this year. We have a few different heirloom varieties, which is a real treat. Above is another example of Jemimah's creative expression in vegetable/flower arranging. : )

The geese have grown so fast! They are such characters and seem to find ways to amuse us nearly every day. Axel is a little aggressive with people he doesn't know and becomes very vocal at his annoyance when unknown guests arrive, like the gas delivery man yesterday! He also finds great delight in chasing our poor little dog Darla Mae and chasing Jemimah while she rides her bike. He has gone so far as to bite her bike tire. I'm glad to be on his good side, so far!

Jemimah spent time this summer working on her embroidery and learning how to sew on the sewing machine. After completing a couple of hand sewn projects she was ready to try her hand at using a sewing machine. She sewed a patchwork quilt for her dolls and did a great job! I was so proud of her hard work, and blessed when she won best of fair at our county fair for her quilt.

Over the summer I hand embroidered a little runner/dresser scarf. I found the stamped embroidery kit at a little quilt shop in our area; they were selling a number of vintage stamped embroidery projects for 50cents- $1. I purchased several, some appear to be from the 1950's. 

I also added a couple of new (to me) vintage apron patterns to my collection. I am hoping to find time to sew them over the next few months, and maybe add them to my shop. I really like to button back closure of each design.

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer! 

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Romans 11:33

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Pasta Salad Recipe

Today I would like to share with you my favorite recipe for pasta salad. Earlier this month I made pasta salad for a Fourth of July picnic at my mom's house.

Pasta Salad:
1 box (12 Oz.)  tri-colored rotini pasta
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/4-1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup pepperoni, cut into pieces
1 can (6 oz.) black olives, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBSP. water
1 TBSP. honey
3 TBSP. Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper to taste
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
 Whisk together ingredients to create the dressing.
In  large bowl combine pasta, cheese, bell pepper, carrot, onion, pepperoni, olives and salad dressing. Refrigerate overnight. 
This salad is a summer favorite in my home! It is very versatile and can be adjusted to suit your family's preferences. 

I also made a cake for the picnic. It was a simple boxed cake, but I thought it may be worth sharing despite the fact in was not entirely made from scratch.

 Cherries in the Snow Cake:
1 box white cake mix (*ingredients needed to bake cake)
1 box instant pudding
2 cups cold milk 
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling


Prepare and bake cake according to directions. 
When cake is finished baking and still warm poke cake with the end of a wooden spoon handle. In bowl combine pudding mix with milk. Stir until smooth and let sit 2 minutes. Pour pudding into holes of warm cake. Place in fridge a couple of hours to cool.  Prior to removing cake from fridge, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, until stiff peaks form and it has become whipped cream. When cool, top cake with whipped cream and cherries.
*When the boxed cake mix called for oil I used melted butter, and it place of water I used whole milk.

Since it was July 4th, I decided to try and form the cherries and some blueberries into an American flag. My attempt was a little crude, but everyone seemed to like my less than perfect flag cake.

It was a lovely Fourth of July picnic! We were very blessed with a warm, sunny day. We enjoyed good food, patriotic music, fireworks, and best of all, being with family.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12a


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Feathered and Furry Friends

Happy Summer! I hope you all have enjoyed a beautiful spring.

This spring we were blessed to add to our flock and I thought I would take some time to share pictures of our feathered and furry friends.

For some time now Adam has been interested in purchasing some geese. He had read articles about the benefits of geese, and that they prove to be a good alarm/guard against predators. After losing all but two of our hens over the past year he had been looking into options on how to better protect our hens. Some recommend geese as they will alert their owners of harm and even scare away predators.

 It wasn't too hard for Adam to convince me that we needed geese. Especially when I met the sweet little gosling above! Adam had ordered two Embden geese, unfortunately when the shipment arrived at the store, one of the goslings had not survived the trip. The store we purchased from had a mix of other goslings to choose from and this little dear caught my eye, she is a White Chinese.

 In just over a month the geese have grown so much! Both geese are loving and enjoy being held. In the evenings Adam and I will sit in our lawn chairs with a goose on each of our laps.

 Adam has named his Embden goose Axel, after the character in Journey to the Center of the Earth. Axel is an impressive goose already, he is twice the size of my goose. I love the picture above, as it looks like he has a crazy tuft of blonde hair! Both geese have lost most of their baby fuzziness and are growing beautiful white feathers.

As I mentioned earlier we lost all but two of our hens to a hawk and possum. We decided to add ten new chickens to our flock. The business we purchased chicks from has an incredible variety to choose from. My daughter and I had a difficult time limiting our selection to only ten birds! Each of the ten chickens is a different variety, many of which we never raised in the past. Some will even lay blue or green eggs.
The chicks are harder to photograph than the geese as they are constantly moving about. They love to flap their wings and "fly" about their pen. We love to watch their adorable antics!
Our two remaining hens have been enjoying the company of a distinguished gentlemen. Our neighbor's rooster comes over every morning to join our ladies on a stroll about the lawn; come evening he escorts the hens to the hen house and returns home. It is truly comical to watch him walk the hens home, cut across the lawn and then pass under the fence to his own yard. We have dubbed him Sir Reginald Rooster, but call him Reggie for short. Reggie is the most conversational chicken I have ever met, he is always clucking away over every inch of lawn and will even crow in Adam's garage to request an ear of dried corn.
We also purchased two turkey chicks this spring. Much to Jemimah's dismay Adam plans to have the turkey butchered come fall. Adam hopes to have a truly home grown Thanksgiving this year.

Since it has been awhile since I last posted you have not yet had the chance to meet our puppy, Darla Mae. She joined our family last summer and has been an absolute delight! Darla Mae is truly the sweetest little dog I've ever met. In the picture above she is wearing a sweater I crocheted.

Since I can't resist cute puppy pictures I had to include a picture of Darla Mae from last summer soon after we brought her home.
Adam has also begun beekeeping. We're all hoping to eventually enjoy a wonderful yield of honey, but in the meantime we are finding pleasure in watching the bees collect pollen from our various flowers. It is beautiful to see the bees return to their hive with their back legs coated in yellow pollen. Bees are such amazing creatures. How good the Lord is to bless us with His incredible creations.

 We were somewhat surprised by a recent visitor to our garden. One evening Adam spotted this enormous snapping turtle in our  vegetable garden. We stood by and watched as the turtle began to burrow down into the tilled soil. We all kept our distance, since snapping turtles can be quite dangerous, but enjoyed an up close observation of a large snapper at work.

I hope you have enjoyed this little update about our animal friends. Hope to chat with you all again soon!

"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." Psalm 104:24

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Springtime Beauty

May has been a beautiful month where I live. My family and I have been enjoying the return of each springtime flower and feathered friends. It is always such an amazing blessing to see spring unfold after a long cold winter.

 My daughter and I find great delight in awaiting the arrival of our favorite flowers. I cherish all of the sweet little bouquets my daughter collects for our kitchen table.

 Star of Bethlehem is one of if not my favorite springtime flower. It is a wildflower that began blooming on our property a couple of years after we moved into our home. It tends to be a short lived flower, so we anxiously await its blossoming and soak up its beauty while we can. Each time I see the Star of Bethlehem flower I can't help but think of the sweet Christmas song by that name. : )

Our crab apple tree was especially beautiful this year! I always love the vibrant pink blossoms.
I was so impressed with the amount of blossoms on the tree this year.

We always eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Baltimore Orioles. Adam made little platforms for grape jelly, the orioles enjoy perching on the platforms while they eat the jelly. It is surprising just how much grape jelly they can eat in a week! If you look closely you will spot a male Baltimore oriole, a female and a very mischievous squirrel. 

We have a family of squirrels in the large old maple tree outside our living room window. We have enjoyed watching their unbelievable antics! They make us laugh so often with how cute and crazy they behave, especially the juvenile squirrels.
Adam took these pictures of the orioles early one morning. They can be fairly difficult to photograph. 

We have also been grateful to once again see the Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Bluebirds, hummingbirds and so many others! Many times when we visit my mom we are treated with a visit from the Pileated woodpecker, what an amazing creature!

We have planted our vegetable garden and are excited to once again watch the plants grow. Our first harvest this year was asparagus, which was an unexpected blessing. Adam had planted some asparagus roots in the garden last spring. We had read that it could take up to five years before the plants would produce anything edible. However, much to our delight we had enough asparagus to enjoy one evening with our dinner.

Adam started most of our plants from seed this year using heirloom seeds. Last year we had purchased tomato plants from a local greenhouse, at the time we hadn't realized they were heirloom tomatoes. They were the most delicious tomatoes we had ever tasted. The tomato variety was Boxcar Willy, it was the variety's name that caught our attention. Adam was able to save seeds from last years tomatoes and start his own Boxcar Willy tomato plants this year. We are excited to enjoy them once again this year.

Hopefully I will post again soon. It seems like there tends to be more to share during the spring, summer and fall. I hope to share some of my recent sewing projects soon.

Have you planted a garden this year? Are you enjoying any special feathered friends?

"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." Psalm 104:24